Archive for God(s)

Firmly grounded in the…

Posted in Buddhism, death, God(s), Happiness, health, History, Mysticism, New Age Baloney, Philosophy, Religion, Ultimate Reality, World of Emotions with tags , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2009 by wizardsmoke

As other more astute and accomplished individuals have pointed out on their blogs, it seems that religious scenes and groups are more frequently populated by middle-aged and elderly folks. Sure — why not, right?

In angsty youth (and in angsty adulthood too, sometimes), many deride the religious for being fearful of the afterlife. But I think what is equally true is that people become fearful of the past as they age, athiests or not. If, supposing there is nothing after death, our life is all we did, why wouldn’t we want to reflect on living the best life possible? Errors are inevitable, but not necessary. If this life is all there is, well then what is the point of living a miserable nihilistic one? (Not to mention, only young people have the consistent energy to resist and deny feelings of remorse, regret, or guilt: denial leads to mental illness in older folks!)

The interesting thing is that this kind of thinking, where one questions the point of cruelty or despair when it has no purpose or punishment, actually leads toward a sense of compassionate martyrdom — later Greek philosophy and eventually Christianity.

However, basic ignorance does pervade all of this, for all concerned. The power of denial is undeniably strong with too many of us. And it’s a very fine line to cross at certain times in our lives between becoming total subconsciously self-loathing scumbags and people of integrity. Often it’s because we’re afraid of what we might lose: our family, our friends or social acceptance, our money or property, our rights, our anonymity, and so forth.

Compassionate acts are interesting, because in the wrong hands they easily become catalysts to vain behavior. I’ve had friends who did not believe in selfless charity (nor have I, at times in my life). In the early 20th century, after both World War I and World War II had ended, there were serious debates in the United States media and art communities over how best to honor fallen servicemen in the war effort. The big stand-off was between “Traditional Memorials” and “Living Memorials”. Traditional ones are like plaques and art pieces; living ones are like parks and dedicated buildings or facilities. The big debate commonly came down to which one better left a stoic message that all would respect and remember.

But who cares about that? A person who is proud of their legacy shouldn’t care about their personal data. Who cares if you are worshiped forever? None of this leads to anyone’s happiness or satisfaction. It is far better to leave something that improves the world (how exactly, I have no idea whatsoever). This is the preachy message Kurosawa’s film Ikiru is hammering into the viewer’s brain over it’s insanely long runtime.

Since everything fades from memory, and memory is such a transient and unreliable device (history is forgotten or unknown by most of the public, anyway), what does a concrete, identifiable legacy matter? That’s why I like the idea of gods of compassion, or virtuous people, or totally enlightened Buddhas and their badass retinues — everything such an individual would do would be selfless compassion. Not giving oneself up to others, but giving up the notion of one-self, individualism altogether — compassionate activity with no regard as to individuals whatsoever. A total generator of compassion.

Such generators do exist, but I suspect they are beyond identification and not worth discussing much more. And there are similar generators for every possible cosmic experience. So I don’t know if any particular experience “wins” or whatever, but if it’s a matter of looking back on one’s life in the future and being satisfied with how you lived it, it’s worth considering.

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Local Energy Source

Posted in Feng Shui, Folklore, God(s), Mysticism, Paganism, Qi, Ultimate Reality, World of Emotions with tags , , , , , , on December 23, 2008 by wizardsmoke

Anytime I go to a new geographical spatial location, I feel tired. I don’t mean I get exhausted when I go to the grocery store or the movie theater (god forbid), but when I travel a decent distance — to another state, country, continent, environmental region or ecosystem, and sometimes merely a different city. But I don’t think it’s “jet-lag”; I don’t think it’s merely that my biological clock is out of sync with the changing sunrise. No, I think it’s mainly that I am not acclimated to the flavor or “energy” that the particular region gives off. It sounds insane, but this is what I believe (momentarily).

There seems to be an acclimation period which takes a week or so to really get settled into the vibes of the locale. Sounds like baloney, but I don’t think there’s another explanation. Every time I show up at a new location, I am dead tired. And the usual things don’t stave it off: sleep, food, whatever. The hidden funk of a geographical location, the causeways of energy or whatever which give it it’s particular feeling or character are too strong for the greenhorn to get used to right off the boat. So it takes some period of adjustment in which you’re exhausted.

And where is the strongest emanation of local energy to be found? From water bodies (duh!) — particularly rivers. If there’s one useful thing I learned from reading books on feng shui, it’s that rivers carry energy through locations like veins carry blood through the body. Actually, I think this is the specific feng-shui definition. So, if you go down to the river of any place, you’ll find the river feels more like the place than the rest of the location. I.e. the Hudson feels like New York, the Potomac like Maryland and Virginia, etc. The spirit(s) of any place can be found in its rivers. And visiting rivers, you’d think it would make a person less tired when they’re trying to acclimate to a location, but I don’t know if it does (probably because I’m a dumb cowardly blogger LOLOLOL!).

In thinking about the different flavors of locations, I figure “pagan ideals” worship such a specific flavor of a location and not the energetic feedback (if you can even separate the two) but I’m just generalizing. But I do think the flavor of a location is a manifestation of the gods of the location. And I wonder if, even though we’re getting energy wherever we are, we’re still filtering it through our locale, through the local “gods”. So, thinking with my “New World”, post-industrial agricultural brain, is there maybe some kind of pure energy which has nothing to do with local filters? Energy that I could access?

Someone should really make an energy purification device like this and then cut me in on the deal.

Food for the Gods

Posted in God(s), Happiness, love, Mysticism, Paganism, Philosophy, Religion, Ultimate Reality with tags , , , , , , on March 31, 2008 by wizardsmoke

In pagan mythologies, it is acknowledged that humanity is simply food for the gods. People think they act of their own accord, not knowing that they’re merely instruments of heaven. Or something or whatever paraphrased from Hatsumi again. What does this all mean? It’s kind of interdependence, in a way.

One reason worship of gods is not my cup o’ joe, is ‘coz gods are always in a process of change. God today, gone tomorrow, ya know? But even still, we all worship the old gods every now and then, or venerate certain ideas. And any kind of emotional state involves a kind of submission, doesn’t it? Aren’t there people that are obsessed with certain emotions and experiences, be it lust, fear, hate, melancholy, or arts and techniques? Many people pray to these things, often without recognizing it. This is why so many hermetic, eremitic and monastic traditions espouse the view that one should be aware of when any disturbance or emotional shift is occurring within one’s mind.

I’m not talking about the big “G” of course. That’s a different expression of “god” altogether. As I’ve said before, “God”, as referred to in the Judeo-Christian/Muslim religious view, seems to only exist as an ecstatic experience, as the overarching mental waves of all existence. At least this is my take on that whole ordeal. Seeing God or what-have-you — it refers to a state of absorption in which one perceives the manifold layers of all creation. The pantheon of old gods themselves are more like…ideas or archetypal manifestations of beliefs. Hence the wheel of the gods changes in importance as human history marches on. Is a god even a god without a medium (human worshipers) through which to feed?

Old religions (or at least, “pagan” religions) come from a time and place where survival required a more fervent physical effort — a more physically inclined will. Basically, these days we have less individual space and a much larger population. Before, people had room or space into which they expanded their spirit and mind. This is clearly not the only cause of the disappearance of the old gods (for instance look at Scandinavia or Russia, with wide open spaces), and the literal belief in the old gods seems to be accompanied by the presence of forethought, as in the story of Prometheus. But then again, there are people or spiritual mystics who wake up at all times, so we can’t assume that people are now spiritually inferior. Especially since we’ve moved beyond things like human sacrifice and so on. Well, at least physical human sacrifice. You know, the classic kind…

Ah but maybe that’s because we don’t have the gods anymore, huh? As you can see, this is a complicated conversation that is replete with only speculation, no real answers. To really understand we have to listen. Nothing new here, or under the sun. To get the big picture a person has to stop looking for things and just stay quiet and listen really, truly deeply. Or so I’ve heard/read/realized a bajillion times.

One could consider natural disaster to be a manifestation of the gods, a sign that humanity has forgotten them and worships demigods of reason and technology. Whether or not one actually can believe in gods, one can agree that the results of these natural disasters probably have to do with mankind’s effects upon the Earth, problems which arise from ignorance of environmental conditions and importance.

Sounds like the same thing to me. The truth is at least somewhere in the middle, where gods are not just metaphors, and metaphors are a convenience of language and thought to describe divine manifestations. Actually, in the Norse myths, the approach of Ragnarok (the apocalyptic battle of the gods) is signaled by serious movements and rumbling of the earth. In other words, good ol’ natural disasters!

As I’ve mentioned, I like the body of work attributed to Plato. I am a fan. Plato was known to describe existence as manifestations of ideas, which are beyond form but continuously are represented by forms. I find Plato to be fascinating because his philosophy appears in an era that maintains belief in the old gods, but possesses modern advancements in thought and academics. In other words, this period is at the beginning of the western academic canon, so there have not yet developed a metaphorical lexicon/thesaurus for gods and mental phantasms and experiences.

Plato’s synopsis of ultimate reality parallels the view of all supposedly realized people across our short human history: the deepest layer of realization bathes one in total selfless love!

I’m right there with ya, Plato buddy! To the soul-sauna!